Archive for June 11th, 2011


Fly Fishing: Knots Landing

One of the basics of fishing how to’s are knots; the how to tie a certain knot. For the average, beginning fly fisher, fishing freshwater, there are only a few knots to learn. Most beginning books, classes, blogs (to include this one…see search box re “knots”) for fly fishing, have plenty of info on how to tie a cinch/clinch knot, surgeon’s knot, blood knot, nail knot, loop knot. 

The problem I encounter on the water with beginners, is they look past the importance of a maintained uniformly tapered leader/tippet. The proper leader is important in turning over the fly via the cast. It is important in the presentation of a soft delivery to not spook the fish. 

A knot that joins butt section to leader or leader to tippet should not look like a granny knot on steriods. Keep the knots lean and horizontal, not round, irregular and clunky. Knots create drag, so pay attention to this important, basic skill. Understand how to tie/construct/maintain a reasonably tapered leader of around the length of your rod if not more. Strive to maintain that butt section/leader length and only have to touch up the tippet length now and then after break offs or repeated changing of flies.  Presentation of the line, leader, tippet, fly includes a streamlined, properly tied knot. 


Fly Fishing: Instincts, Time on the Water

As a beginning fly fisher, you will spend a majority of your time reading all manner of material to learn how to fish. There will be many levels of sophistication to this and you will soon learn that the sport is broken down into enormous levels of detail that can seem overwhelming as you look for clarity, certainty, simplicity.

The proper gear set up, the cast, the presentation and fly pattern selection will occupy your time for years to come. Beyond that, entomology, gear hoarding, habitat, where to fish, the fly fish culture or fly tying may enhance or burden your ability to stay focused on the basics of how to read water, present the selected fly in a likely spot that would hold a fish. 

As time progresses, you will develop certain instincts based upon your studies and success/failures on the water. The accumulation of input, while fishing, is the most beneficial. The process of fishing will become more fluid as your intuition or gut instincts steer you toward successful outcomes. This is the most enjoyable aspect of fishing….intuitively stalking and connecting with ‘the moment’. 

The reality is, the more you fish, the better you will perfect not just your motor skills, but also your instincts. Presentation….presentation….presentation (casting, location, presenting the pattern to look real).

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June 2011

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